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09 Busan Newspaper 2022-03-14

[People Won-Cheol Lim met] James Hong, the CEO of DAEBANG INDUSTRY CO., LTD., "I will establish a technical orphanage in Africa".

09 Busan Newspaper 2022-03-14

“My dream is to establish a technical orphanage in Africa.”

James Hong, the CEO of DAEBANG INDUSTRY CO., LTD., who has been actively exporting packaging materials to Africa, is called a “daddy long legs” by children in Togo, West Africa. He has been donating school supplies to the orphanage here since 2014, and he is now seriously planning to establish a technical orphanage to help orphans in Africa become self-reliant.

"Our country is in a difficult situation either, but from my point of view of doing business in Africa, I think the way to repay them is to help them become financially independent when they come of age."

James Hong was born in Busan in 1961 and graduated from Daedong High School and Dong-A University's law school. He then worked for the Busan branch of a pharmaceutical company, and joined his brother's friend's company, which operates fishing nets and rope factories in Togo, West Africa.


Exporting packaging materials to Togo and continuously donating school supplies

Frequent donations to local Korean churches

Promotion of talent donation by inviting retired technicians

James Hong said, “I went to Togo because I wanted to do business in Africa, an unexplored country.” "At first, I had a lot of difficulties due to language barriers and cultural differences, but I gradually adapted to life in Africa."

He also said, "At this time, it was disheartening to see infants dying from malaria and AIDS around the factory, and I decided to help them when the opportunity arises."

After returning to Korea after his wife's return to teaching, he founded a toy trading company with his best Chinese friend in 1995, but closed down after three years due to fierce competition. He then worked for an Italian generator company, and in 1999 he again worked at the Busan headquarters of the former company, which produces fishing nets and ropes.

James Hong started to donate to Togo's Korean church from then on, saying, “School supplies such as pencils, sketchbooks, bags, and notebooks that were loaded in the free spaces of the exporting containers were distributed to local children and I was really proud and happy to see them leaping with a great joy saying “Très bon”.

In 2014, James Hong, who was contemplating to establish a new company, decided that it would be good to export packaging materials professionally to Africa and he eventually established DAEBANG INDUSTRY CO., LTD.. In this regard, after taking over the factory, he expanded the selling markets to Senegal, Congo, and Nigeria, starting from Togo.

In addition, he donated 10 million won to the Busan Fruit of Love’s ‘Hope 2022 Sharing Campaign’ and 3 million won to the ‘Kim-Young-Sik Foundation for Childbirth Support’ as well. Prior to this, he also donated around 30 million won to his alma mater, Daedong High School and Dong-A University as a development fund.

James Hong lastly said “it would be good for Africa to be able to become self-reliant through technology acquisition, just as Korea, which has scarce resources, took off as a developed country through industrial entry and I am intended to actively look for the best solutions continuously.”

Senior Reporter, Lim Won Chul <wclim@busan.com>

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